An official investigation into how the 23-year old son of Tajikistan’s deputy prime minister plowed his Toyota Camry at speed into a public works vehicle, killing two people, has placed the blame on a technical fault in the car.
Ozodagon news website last week reported that representatives of the General Prosecutor’s Office have accordingly determined that there is no need to pursue a criminal case against Faromuz Saidov, the son of first deputy premier Davlati Saidov. Prosecutors said the accident was caused by a “technical problem during the manufacture of the car” and that there was no human factor at play.
General Prosecutor’s Office representative Sharif Habibulloyev gave no details about what particular defect might have caused a loss of control over the car. The accident claimed the lives of a 25-year old woman, Hilola Rahimova, who traveling in the car with Saidov, and a municipal employee who was at the time clearing away decorations erected to celebrate the Independence Day holiday.
Investigations into the accident, which took place on September 10, have taken five months to complete. On January 20, Interior Minister Ramazon Rahimzoda noted at a press conference that the findings of investigations have yielded some contradictory data, but he declined to elaborate further, saying the matter was being handled by the General Prosecutor’s Office.
Some details do not entirely appear to stack up. Authorities in Tajikistan enforce annual car inspections that would presumably reveal any serious technical shortcoming.
More seriously, eyewitness have told EurasiaNet.org that they saw Saidov arriving on the night of the accident to Royal Club nightclub to aggressively drag away Rahimova, with whom he was going out at the time. According to the same testimonies, nightclub bouncers were forced to eject Saidov from the club for his violent and seemingly intoxicated behavior.
It is customary for the children of top officials in Tajikistan to escape serious punishment for even their most serious escapades.
In October 2013, three people were killed in a late-night accident when the 16-year son of the former head of the Tajik railways — also a relative of the president by marriage — plowed his BMW into another car. The wife of the railways head was fined 120 somoni ($25) for failing in her responsibilities as a parent. In June 2014, the interior minister announced that several expert surveys of the incident had found that the driver of the BMW bore no responsibility for the accident.